Hollywood Docket: Illegal Streaming A Felony?; No 'Facebook' on French TV; R-Patz's F-Bomb

Maria Pallante, the new U.S. Register of Copyrights, wants to get tough on illegal Internet streaming activity.

On her first day on the job, Pallante testified before a House judiciary committee and argued that the illegal streaming of entertainment content should be upgraded from a misdemeanor to a felony.

"As a practical matter, prosecutors have little incentive to file charges for a mere misdemeanor," said Pallante, comparing streaming to redistributing DVDs, which is currently prosecuted as a felony. Her testimony coincides with a boom in streams as bandwidth has grown more conducive to such activity.

In other Hollywood law news:

  • The French are cracking down on newscasters uttering the words "Facebook" and "Twitter" on television or radio, enforcing a 1992 decree on the promotion of commercial enterprises on news programs. Newscasters are allowed to only mention the social media platforms if they are crucial to a news story, but can't say things like, "Follow us on Twitter."
  • One of Gucci's tax lawyers says in a new discrimination lawsuit that he was directed to "tax the hell out of" pop star Rihanna and figure out a way to withhold 30 percent of her endorsement fee after an executive at the fashion label found out she was from a Caribbean island.
  • A man who played a police officer on CBS' CSI is facing charges he reprised that role to coerce a woman into sex at a Las Vegas hotel room. The actor also appeared briefly in The Hangover.
  • Thankfully for MTV, cable television is mostly out of the FCC's jurisdiction, so the network doesn't have much to fear over the "technical glitch" that prevented them from catching Robert Pattinson's F-Bomb at the MTV Movie Awards. Then again, does Justice Samuel Alito own Viacom stock?
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